Casablanca Finance City (CFC) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) held a webinar to present the key takeaways and discuss Africa’s challenges and opportunities, amidst the global digital shift as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the webinar, CFC, and BCG, unveiled the 6th edition of the CFC Africa Insights series: “Rising to the Digital Challenge in Africa”. It emphasizes the opportunities to be seized by the resilient and versatile Africa.
Rising to the Digital Challenge in Africa
Africa trails behind other regions in terms of digital adoption and maturity. Myriad reasons account for this, including underdeveloped connectivity infrastructure, lack of trust in digital service providers and a dearth of digital talent. At the same time, there is clearly a nascent desire to catch up to the rest of the world and reason for optimism. Digital adoption and the infrastructure buildout are, for example, occurring faster in Africa than in other regions, giving the continent an opportunity to leapfrog certain technologies. The COVID-19 crisis has further focused minds, accelerating digital adoption among consumers and digital transformation among companies.
To succeed moving forward, companies and governments need to coordinate on three fronts; the first involves creating scale. Scale is vital in making digital business models economically viable and sustainable on a continent that has many international borders and is less densely populated than other regions. Next, companies and governments need to nurture and attract digital talent, which will require a full range of corporate and national initiatives carefully designed to appeal to these valuable employees’ priorities. Finally, companies need to build ecosystems and innovation hubs that encourage all stakeholders–governments, businesses, investors, incubators, universities, and private operators—to work together to unlock the potential of digital services by improving access to financing options, regulation and technology.
Saïd Ibrahimi, CEO of Casablanca Finance City: “In just a few months’ time, the Covid-19 crisis has brought about years of change in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business. As a leading African financial center, we at Casablanca Finance City, have the conviction that we have a role to play in establishing a business-friendly environment and enabling value creation by encouraging cutting-edge innovation.”
Patrick Dupoux, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Head of Africa at BCG: “Our research shows that this happens faster in Africa than in any other region of the world. This creates exciting possibilities for consumers and businesses, including a chance to bypass older technologies and forge a uniquely African path. The rapid adoption of mobile money is just one example of how digital is about to improve lives.”
These are not pie-in-the-sky dreams. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Casablanca Financial City (CFC) have worked with several companies in a variety of sectors across the continent–telcos, banks, fintechs, industry, retail, consumer goods, online marketplaces–that have already successfully addressed scale, talent and ecosystems. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
Click here to download the report
Click here to watch the webinar replay